I’m not entire sure what happened here
The Duff, or The Designated Ugly, Fat Friend, is a girl whose friends are prettier than she is, and thus, the girl that Wesley Rush talks to in order to get the hot friends to like him. Or, that’s his game, until he meets Bianca.
Kody Keplinger’s debute novel touches on the sensitive issue of body image, or so it seemed in the beginning. When Wesley says those words to Bianca, she can’t seem to get it out of her head, it plagues her. However, that’s about as far as that issue goes. Instead, Bianca, not wanting to deal with her parents and the issue of their divorce winds up going to Wesley - the guy she hates and thinks of as a “disgusting womanizing playboy” - for comfort in the form of sex.
I found it very odd and felt very frustrated with Bianca when she winds up going to Wesley instead of confiding in her best friends. Why would she go to a person she hates and is disgusted by when her two best friends are trying to understand what’s going on? It’s just so puzzling to me that the entire hooking-up-to-escape plot line seemed unrealistic and I couldn’t take it seriously. I want to be clear that it’s not the fact that Bianca is having sex to escape her issues that is puzzling - people (teens included) do that all the time - it’s the fact that she’s doing it with Wesley.
There were so many good places that this book could go, dealing with divorced parents, a dad who’s drinking again, a mom who is constantly way, and self esteem issues, but all of this was eclipsed by her relationship with Wesley. It’s hard to appreciate Bianca as a protagonist, especially when she turns around and hurts the people who seem to care about her the most, the people who rally as her champions - her two best friends.
However, there is no denying that, these aside, Bianca would be a snarky, witty heroine. Kody did a great job in creating a character that is constantly disgruntled, but is still lovable. She’s spunky, and if not for the entire Wesley plot, The Duff would have been a great read.
Publisher: Poppy || Details →